July 9, 1922- November 11, 2021
Betty Irene Harkleroad Miller passed peacefully into eternity from her Church Street home in Taft, CA at 6:50 a.m., November 11, 2021.
She was born July 9,1922 at the family home on Mary Street in Maricopa. She was the youngest daughter of Flint and Mattie Harkleroad. Betty had a beloved sister, Audrey, who was four years older. Her family owned and operated a small grocery store on Highway 33 during the depression until after WWII.
She met her husband John Miller at Maricopa High School. They were married over 75 years until he passed in 2017. In 1939, she played the symbols and he the clarinet with the Maricopa High School marching band in the Tournament of Roses Parade. When John enlisted in the Army Air Corps, Betty was able to travel with him to airfields in Los Angeles, Texas and Kansas. With her accounting degree, she was always able to find employment as a bookkeeper. This continued throughout her life, as the couple owned businesses: Ideal Market, Pacific Perforating and Santa Barbara Shores. They had three children: Johnnie (who passed in a car accident in 1965), Roger (Taft) and Katherine (Taos, New Mexico).
In the early 70’s they began traveling. Betty was privileged to set foot on every continent and visited over 50 countries. Another of her interests were Musical Productions in Los Angeles. Some of her favorites were The Music Man, Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and The Lion King. The last performance she saw was Hamilton at age 96. She was an active member in the Taft Soroptimists, Rotary-Anns, Delta Theta Tau, Assembly Dance Club, and Taft Exercise Group.
Retirement in 1998 offered the ability to see more of the world and enjoy time with grandchildren and many friends. She maintained lifelong relationships and started new ones. She and husband John were Grand Marshalls of the 2016 Taft Christmas Parade.
With the assistance of caregivers Alissa Hoffman, Susan Wagner, DeDe Brown and Margaret Hanna, she was able to live out her life in the comfort of home. Donna McNamarra was a life-long friend and handled all her household business. Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Flint and Mattie, husband John, sister Audrey and eldest son Johnnie. She is survived by children Roger, Katherine, grandchildren Kayli, Clay, Garret and wife Claudia Miller with great-grandchildren Olivia and Luna. She also enjoyed the company of Stephanie Castro (Clay) and Kellie McDonald (Roger).
Services will be November 23, 10 a.m. Greenlawn Chapel. A celebration of life will follow at Benji’s, 4001 Rosedale Hwy.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Taft Methodist Church, 630 North St., Taft CA 93268